Bifidobacterium vs. Lactobacillus

What's the Difference?

Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are both types of beneficial bacteria that are commonly found in the human gut. However, they differ in certain aspects. Bifidobacterium is known for its ability to break down complex carbohydrates, such as fiber, into short-chain fatty acids, which provide energy for the body. It also helps in the production of vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin K. On the other hand, Lactobacillus is known for its ability to produce lactic acid, which helps maintain a healthy pH balance in the gut and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Additionally, Lactobacillus is commonly used in the production of fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut. Overall, both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus play important roles in maintaining gut health and supporting overall well-being.


Gram StainPositivePositive
Optimal pH6.0 - 7.04.0 - 6.0
Optimal Temperature37°C37°C
Mode of ReproductionAsexualAsexual
Common SpeciesBifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium bifidumLactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum

Further Detail


Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two types of bacteria that are commonly found in the human gut. They are both considered probiotics, which means they provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, including their health benefits, strains, and sources.

Health Benefits

Both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus offer numerous health benefits. They help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, support digestion, and enhance the immune system. These probiotics can also alleviate symptoms of certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Bifidobacterium strains have been shown to improve lactose digestion, reduce constipation, and enhance the production of vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin K. They also play a crucial role in the development of a healthy immune system, particularly in infants.

Lactobacillus strains, on the other hand, are known for their ability to produce lactic acid, which helps maintain an acidic environment in the gut. This acidity inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria. Lactobacillus strains have also been associated with improved vaginal health and prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women.


Both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus encompass a wide range of strains, each with its own unique characteristics. Bifidobacterium strains commonly found in probiotic supplements include Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium breve. These strains have been extensively studied for their health benefits and are known to colonize the intestines effectively.

Lactobacillus strains commonly found in probiotic supplements include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus casei. These strains are well-known for their ability to survive the acidic environment of the stomach and adhere to the intestinal lining, allowing them to exert their beneficial effects.

It is important to note that the specific strain of Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus can determine the health benefits it provides. Different strains may have varying abilities to produce enzymes, metabolize nutrients, or interact with the immune system. Therefore, it is essential to choose a probiotic supplement that contains strains that target specific health concerns.


Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus can be found in various food sources and probiotic supplements. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, are excellent sources of these beneficial bacteria. These foods undergo a fermentation process that promotes the growth of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, making them rich in probiotics.

Probiotic supplements are another convenient way to incorporate Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus into your diet. These supplements come in various forms, including capsules, powders, and chewable tablets. They often contain a combination of different strains to provide a broader spectrum of health benefits.

When choosing a probiotic supplement, it is important to consider the quality and viability of the strains. Look for products that are backed by scientific research, have a high number of colony-forming units (CFUs), and are stored and transported under appropriate conditions to ensure the survival of the bacteria.


Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two types of probiotic bacteria that offer numerous health benefits. While both contribute to a healthy gut and immune system, they have distinct attributes that make them unique. Bifidobacterium strains are known for their role in digestion, immune system development, and vitamin production. Lactobacillus strains, on the other hand, excel in maintaining an acidic gut environment, promoting vaginal health, and preventing UTIs.

When incorporating these probiotics into your diet, it is important to choose the right strains and sources. Look for specific strains that target your health concerns and consider consuming fermented foods or high-quality probiotic supplements. By incorporating Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus into your daily routine, you can support your gut health and overall well-being.

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